Questions for the EPA

by Sanaullah Khan (ELP 2016) | Technical Deputy Director, Environmental Protection Agency, Pakistan

I have completed my MSc (Geology) in 1989 and MA (Economics) in 2001 from University of Karachi, Pakistan. I also completed my Post-Graduate Diploma in Environmental Management Towards a Susrainable Development from Maastricht School of Management (MsM), Maastricht City, The Royal Netherlands.

I have work experience with the United Nations Development Program (UNDP), Local Government, Rural Development Department, and NGOs. I have attended various national and international courses and trainings in various countries of the world such as Japan, Netherlands, Kenya, Nepal, India, Thailand and Morocco in the field of Environmental Engineering (Air Pollution Control), Technology for Greenhouse Gases Emissions Mitigation, Performance Management & People Management, Developing capacity to Participate in Climatic Change Initiatives, Regional Measures and Methods for Pollution Control for Environmental Engineers, Developing capacity to participate in Bio-fuels projects: Assessing opportunities and risks, management of sustainability, environmental Law & Policy for Mid-Career Government officials, air and water pollution, Environmental Impact Assessment, Environmental Pollution Monitoring with special reference to characterization of Atmosphere Aerosols, assess the strength and adverse impact of pollutants, Industrial Environmental Management, Capacity Building for EIA Review, Review and Finalization of state of Environment Report of Khyber Paktunkhwa, etc.

I am working in the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), Peshawar, Pakistant since March 1st, 1991 and presently posted as "Deputy Director" (Technical). EPA was established in June, 1989 under the administrative control of Physical Planning & Housing Department. Later on, in 1992, it was transferred to Planning Environmental & Development Department. In 2001 it was placed under the newly created Environment Department. Now, the name of Environment Department has changed into Forestry, Environment and Wildlife Department.

The EPA is working to implement the National Environmental Quality Standards (NEQS) and Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Environmental Protection Act, 2014 which is to provide for the protection, conservation, rehabilitation and improvement of the environment, for the prevention and control of pollution, and promotion of sustainable development in the Province. My organization is facing the following challenges such as lack of professional & skilled staff and resources leading to extreme hindrances in the way of properly implementing and monitoring the various industries in the Province, low literacy rate in the country, ill functioning laboratories, and lack of financial resources, coordination, political will and increase in population growth.

The future planning of my organization is to issues these issues including recruiting and hiring more highly educated and technically sound staff, contacting the Provincial, Federal as well as Donor agencies to arrange funds, purchasing updated technology and Mobile laboratory for on spot analysis of effluent samples, arranging very mass awareness program through conducting various seminars, workshops and dissemination of information through print and electronic media and establishment of EPA zonal and regional offices in the Province.

Following are various questions rising about my organization. Why is the organization still trapped and stuck even though it was established in June, 1989? Has the organization contacted any donor agency to provide funding? How much is the organization's annual budget? What are the sources of funding? How many projects has the organization completed and what is its result? Has it proved fruitful to control or reduce the environmental pollution? What is the air, noise and water pollution level of your Province? Is there any source or scheme to provide funds to NGOs to run small environment related projects? How is the organization analyzing the effluents samples collected from various industries if deprived still from laboratory? How many Initial Environmental Examination and Environmental Impact Assessment reports are reviewed and to how many industries have Environmental Approval/Licensing been issued? How many industries are prosecuted in the Environmental Protection Tribunal violating the National Environmental Quality Standards? Is there any project initiated for the water quality analysis? How many Marble factories are in the Province? How are they polluting the river body? To how many marble factories has your organization supplied machinery for making blocks for building construction? Is there any Environmental Profile of the Province? What is your organization doing for Climate Change and provision of energy efficient technology? How many zonal and regional offices will your organization establish?